Modernising the NCSC
Before the lock down, The National Clay Shooting Centre (NCSC) was undergoing a significant change program aimed at modernising the whole complex so that it could once again be worthy of its name. Everything was in scope; the reception, clubhouse, café and the ranges themselves. The plan was to create a look and feel that appeals to our elite shooters, but also our members and loyal customers. The technology was old and the appearance was in need of attention.
First of all, the reception area was given a substantial facelift. We set to work opening up what was a small hatch similar to a ticket office, into a more inviting environment where our reception staff can engage properly with our customers. We decided the old bank of cathode ray TVs needed to go as well as the very large cleaning cupboard they were sat on. The left over space was to be transformed into a lounge area where our customers could relax in comfort. Our resident NRA Building experts, Mark and Sean did an outstanding job moving the door plus lowering and extending the reception area. Meanwhile the electricians, Chris and Dave set about moving sockets and rewiring in preparation for our flat screen TVs.
The finished article has transformed the clubhouse into a welcoming and professional sports setting where clients can relax whilst waiting for a lesson, or passers-by can enjoy our breath-taking views and catch up on a bit of work.
The café has also had a similar facelift along with a new consolidated menu to include our new “Bisley Banger” Sausage.
Out on the ranges we were keen to revitalise the grass that has been slowly wasting away over the last few years. Years of fallen clay debris, accompanied by continuous sweeping, has left the range layouts quite bleak, perhaps more akin to a lunar landscape. It was clear we needed to be bold and start from scratch. We hired in a machine to collect as much of the debris as possible and prepare the ground for fertiliser and seeding. The clear up was a huge task that we carried out in shifts around our opening times.
The Lockdown period has been tough for all and the NCSC staff have been furloughed throughout. The Bisley range complex has been cared for by a small team in preparation for reopening and we have tried to maintain the momentum and look for opportunities where possible. The grass seed was laid the day before the lockdown which gave it the best possible chance of success whilst the range was closed. The dry whether meant that we needed to water the ground regularly and we also took the opportunity to repair some areas of the shooting layouts that were in need of some TLC. The before and after photographs below are typical of the work being carried out.
The finished article has transformed the clubhouse into a welcoming and professional sports setting where clients can relax whilst waiting for a lesson, or passers-by can enjoy the breath-taking views and catch up on a bit of work. The café has also had a similar facelift along with a new consolidated menu to include our new “Bisley Banger” Sausage.
As well as the grounds, a considerable amount of work has been carried out addressing some of the other long overdue issues to prepare for reopening. We have started a refurbishment program on all of our traps and associated equipment. This is a long process, but we are slowly getting through it and hopefully this will ensure the longevity of our facility for the next 20 years and beyond. We have replaced our trap control system boxes which will not only increases the reliability of the equipment, but they also offer new programs to help coaches select specific targets and routines for their clients.
We have worked on improving the current membership to offer a better service plus increased access to our facilities. Membership is now being managed by a central database, which will increase efficiency and our ability to inform members of future events, special offers and results to competitions etc. We will shortly be issuing a new membership card, which will insert directly into our new trap control systems. Virtual tokens will then be uploaded onto your card at reception, eventually removing the need for our old token boxes.
Concurrent with all this work, we felt it was time for a change regarding the NCSC image and overall branding. We have designed a new logo and over the next few months we hope to introduce a new uniform and some items of merchandising, some of which will be for sale to our customers.
As this goes to print, NCSC has reopened for two weekends initially for our members. Social distancing measures are in place and there is a new process for booking and paying for a layout before arrival. Next week we will be moving to 3 days open and to all our customers.
And finally, we now have a new management structure within NCSC, dedicated to improving clay shooting at Bisley. I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Kai Timmermann as the new manager. I would like to leave you with some photos of the the fruits of our efforts. Hope to see you shooting clays very soon.